ecofx : Resources


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Hello Earth Warriors and Biosphere Scientists,

Our ecofx calculators and tools help you quickly estimate the habitat potential saved in square meters of not buying a product – as well as other positive ecological effects.

Check out the excellent resources listed below that have helped us manifest our ecofx calculators, matrixes and other tools, and are helping guide our current work and projects.

We want to send out a big XOEarth hug to the scientists and researchers who have made their crucial environmental data, results, perspectives and conclusions available to the public via these resources. They have made our ecofx formulas v2, ecofx calculators and tools and product matrixes and materials matrixes possible.

Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

For all the life, Stele Ely
ecofx founder
XOEarth.org/ecofx

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Calculators: Carbon Footprint / Environmental Impact

CarbonFund.org: search: Carbon Calculator: Go Carbon Neutral, Fight Climate Change Today A+

CarbonFootprint.com: calculator A+

EPA.gov: Household Carbon Footprint Calculator: Greenhouse Gas Emissions A+

Global Footprint Network: Advancing the Science of Sustainability

CarbonTrust.com: carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies and commercializing low carbon technologies

IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories\

colorado.gov: Colorado Energy Office

EPA.gov: Energy Information Resources

ClimateCooler.com: the smarter you shop, the cooler it gets

openLCA.org: Life Cycle Assessment Software Carbon Footprint

Nature Conservancy: Carbon Footprint Calculator

NREL.gov: Life Cycle Inventory Database

Sustainable-Economy.org: Refining Ecological Footprint

UNEP + SETAC: Life Cycle Initiative: LCA / Life Cycle Analysis

ZeroFootPrint.net: Kids Carbon Footprint Measurement

 
 

Resources: Biosphere / Science

BiodiversityFromHereGrimHopeful PNAS

Biomass (ecology) Wikipedia

Biomass Wikip AAA

Biosphere Encyclopedia of Earth EOEarth.org [search: biosphere]

Biosphere Wiki

SierraClub: search: ecological science

ClimatePrediction.net

DeepSeaSpeciesLossPotential.physorg.com

DiversityPredictsStabilityPhytoplankton PNAS

DynamicFragilityCoralReef PNAS

Wikipedia: Earth: Biosphere

ecocast

Ecological extinction brave new ocean TABLE PNAS

EOEarth.org: search HANPP Global AAA

PNAS: search: Extinction spatial dynamics biodiversity

NRDC.org: search: fight the environmental assault

Future of Marine Animal Population

Future Coral Reefs PNAS

gcmd.nasa.gov: Global Change Master Directory

GCRMN.org Status Coral Reefs World

Google: search: Global Tropospheric Chemistry Google book National Research Council

GLOBIO.INFO Mapping human impacts biosphere

PNAS: Human Modified Ecosystems Future Evolution

NASA: search: satellite Earth’s Carbon Metabolism

ORNL.gov: Net Primary Production NPP

ecoeco.org: Human appropriation of net primary production: Encyclopaedia of Ecological Economics: HANPP.pdf

PNAS: planetary pie

PNAS: Ecological extinction brave new ocean

PNAS.org Proceedings National Academy of Sciences

SpringerLink: fluxes of carbon between the biosphere

TheFreeLibrary.com: 99.5 percent of the global biosphere oceans

GRIDA.no: Environmental Knowledge for Change: UNEP

UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme

COML.org: Census Of Marine Life

UNI Klagenfurt uni-klu.ac.at

CarbonNeutral.com: climate consulting for businesses

Six Products WSJ.com

Wired.com: Stand Up For The Climate And Civilization

PublicRadio.org: Consumer Consequences Sustainability Coverage American Public Media

mysterium.com: Mass Extinction Underway: Biodiversity Species

Convention on Biological Diversity: Global Diversity Outlook

Google: search: global biomass lost each year

Google: search: Global Net Primary Productivity biomass NPP

 
 

LCA / Materials / Products

EPA.gov: Design For The Environment DfE [related programs via EPA’s Safer Choice]

Energy.gov Building Energy Modeling

GHGprotocol.org Greenhouse Gas Protocol

GreenBiz.com: business + technology + sustainability

BSIGroup.com: life cycle greenhouse gas emissions goods services

Carbonize: flashy “game” that compares the carbon footprint of products and stuff
 
 

Random Excerpts

www.footprintnetwork.org/en/ index.php/GFN/page/calculators/
A person who creates 10 tons of CO2 a year uses 9.9 global hectares. If everyone lived this way it would take 2.23 earth’s.

http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/ GFN/page/frequently_asked_technical_questions/

The carbon Footprint adds value to simple carbon emissions data in two ways: The carbon Footprint puts the magnitude of emissions into a meaningful context. Many people do not know how to interpret 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, but they can easily understand that if 1,000 global hectares would be required to absorb this carbon, but only 500 global hectares are available, this is a problem if we want to prevent this waste product from building up around us. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/ GFN/page/frequently_asked_technical_questions/

15.5 global acres (hectares) ~ 15.7 tons of carbon dioxide ~ 3.5 Earths

In other words, for every 1 metric ton (1000 kg) of CO2 that a person creates, 9.9 global acres of potential habitat on land and/or sea area is lost.
http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/news/index.cfm?uNewsID=148922
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The footprints of nations and their biological capacity can be directly compared because resource flows are translated into a common unit of biologically productive area, “global hectares” (which can be translated into “global acres”). A global hectare is the average per hectare regenerative capacity of all the planet’s biologically productive surfaces. Currently, the planet has approximately 13.6 billion hectares (33.6 billion acres) of biologically productive land and sea surfaces. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/ en/index.php/GFN/page/methodology/
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The Living Planet Report 2008 tells us that we are consuming the resources that underpin those services much too fast – faster than they can be replenished. Just as reckless spending is causing recession, so reckless consumption is depleting the world’s natural capital to a point where we are endangering our future prosperity.

The Global Living Planet Index (LPI) – a measure derived from long term studies of nearly 5000 populations of 1686 species – shows an almost 30 per cent decline over the 35 years 1970-2005. The 2006 Living Planet Report reported a decline of less than a quarter in the Global LPI for 1970-2003.

This is the overview, and it is alarming enough. A closer focus shows much more vividly where the losses are occurring with the Temperate LPI showing a six per cent increase 1970-2005, while the Tropical LPI has declined by 51 per cent, the LPI for terrestrial species generally down by 33 per cent, the Freshwater LPI down 35 per cent and the Marine LPI down 14 per cent.

The Tropical Forest LPI is down 62 per cent, the Drylands LPI is down 44 per cent, and the Grasslands LPI down 36 per cent. The Bird LPI is down 20 per cent and the Mammal LPI down 19 per cent.
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The Living Planet Index shows that over the past 35 years alone the Earth’s wildlife populations have declined by a third. Yet our demands continue to escalate, driven by the relentless growth in human population and in individual consumption. Our global footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30 per cent. If our demands on the planet continue at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we will need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles. This means it now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year. Global Footprint Network
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How biomass is measured depends on why it is being measured. Sometimes the biomass is regarded as the natural mass of organisms in situ, just as they are. For example, in a salmon fishery, the salmon biomass might be regarded as the total wet weight the salmon would have if they were taken out of the water. In other contexts, biomass can be measured in terms of the dried organic mass, so perhaps only 30% of the actual weight might count, the rest being water. For other purposes, only biological tissues count, and teeth, bones and shells are excluded. In stricter scientific applications, biomass is measured as the mass of organically bound carbon (C) that is present.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass_(ecology)

Humanity’s impact on the biosphere’s structures (e.g., land cover) and functioning (e.g., biogeochemical cycles) is considerable. It exceeds natural variability in many cases. Sanderson and others have classified up to 83% of the global terrestrial biosphere as being under direct human influence, based on geographic proxies such as human population density, settlements, roads, agriculture and the like; another study, by Hannah et al., estimates that about 36% of the Earth’s bioproductive surface is “entirely dominated by man”.
http://www.eoearth.org/article/ Global_human_appropriation _of_net_primary_production_(HANPP)
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Energy land
A land area estimated based on the land required to sequester carbon dioxide. 1 global hectare can sequester 3.7 tons of CO2 per year.
http://yourdevelopment.org/glossary/

Fishing requires productive fishing grounds. Of the total ocean area, the 6% concentrated along the world’s continental shelves provides over 95% of the marine catch (20). Assuming that these numbers reflect productivity distribution, this translates into 2.0 billion biologically productive hectares out of the Earth’s 36.3 billion hectares of ocean area. Inland waters make up an additional 0.3 billion hectares. We use FAO fish catch figures, including by-catch (16,21), and compare them to FAO’s ‘maximum sustainable yield’ figure of 93 million tons per year (22). The 93 million tons are then expressed as their primary production requirement (PPR) per hectare, according to the 1996 mean trophic level and by-catch composition of 35 categories of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals. Annual landings are calculated by deducting aquaculture from production in these 35 categories, yielding the wild harvest. The harvest is also converted into a PPR and compared with the sustainable PPR, documenting the effect of fishing down food webs, as
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Again, under the new fishprint approach, the global yield factor (YFPPG) is calculated by dividing the total primary productivity required by the global catch in each year by the global marine fisheries biocapacity (BCG). Global marine fisheries biocapacity is calculated by multiplying the area of open oceans with the open ocean equivalence factor and area of EEZ with the EEZ equivalence factor. Table 2 provides the relevant calculations, and indicates a marine biocapacity of 33.94 billion global hectares (gha). From the Sea Around Us data, we estimate PPR for the global catch in 2003 to be 47.06 billion tonnes. Thus, we estimate the 2003 YFPPG to be 1.39 tonnes per global
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Results of HANPP calculations vitally depend on the definition used (2, 20, 21). We define HANPP as the combined effect of harvest and productivity changes induced by land use on the availability of NPP in ecosystems. That is, HANPP is calculated as the difference between the NPP of potential vegetation (NPP0), i.e., the plant cover that would prevail in the absence of human intervention and the fraction of NPP remaining in ecosystems after harvest (NPPt). NPPt is calculated by subtracting the amount of NPP harvested or destroyed during harvest (NPPh) from the NPP of currently prevailing vegetation (NPPact) (5, 6). HANPP, thus, is the sum of ?NPPLC and NPPh, where ?NPPLC denotes the impact on NPP of human-induced land conversions, such as land cover change, land use change, and soil degradation.

One major argument in favor of this HANPP definition is that changes in agricultural technology can result in considerable increases in NPPact over time (22, 23). Harvest increases need therefore not necessarily result in a reduction in NPPt. Thus, it is important to consider ?NPPLC so as not to neglect technological progress (24). Moreover, we prefer a not-too-inclusive definition of HANPP, in accordance with the fact that a considerable fraction of the NPP of grazing land and forest plantations actually remains in the ecosystem and supplies trophic energy to ecological food webs there. To explore the importance of issues of definition, we use our database to calculate HANPP according to the definition given by Vitousek et al. (2) and compare the results to those obtained with the definition used here.
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Human activities have a substantial effect on global NPP and its pathways through ecological and social systems. Our calculations show (Table 1) that humans appropriated 15.6 Pg C/yr, which represents 23.8% of global terrestrial NPP0 in the year 2000. AAAA Because humans mostly use aboveground NPP, it is relevant from a socioeconomic perspective to consider this compartment. Here, we find an even stronger impact: aboveground HANPP amounted to 10.2 Pg C/yr or 28.8% of aboveground NPP0. Overall, biomass harvest contributed 53% to total HANPP, land-use-induced productivity changes contributed 40%, and human-induced fires contributed 7%. A considerable amount of biomass included in NPPh (16% of total HANPP or 3.7% of NPP0) immediately flows back to ecosystems as roots killed during harvest, crop and wood residues remaining on site, or as feces of grazing animals and is, thus, only available for detritivorous food chains. Human biomass harvest alone is 12% of total NPP0 and 20% of aboveground NPP0.

++ Global HANPP – Biomass flows can be expressed in terms of flows of dry matter biomass (kg/yr), in terms of energy (J/yr, usually expressed as Gross Calorific Value = Upper Heating Value) or in terms of carbon flows (kg C/yr). In order to facilitate comparison of the global results reviewed below we converted all results to Pg C/yr (1 Pg = 1015 g = 109 t = 1 Gt = 1 billion tons), using the following conversion factors: 1 kg dry matter biomass = 0.5 kg C and 1 kg dry matter biomass = 18.5 MJ.
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As early as 1973 Whittaker and Lieth reported that humans harvested 1.6 Pg C/yr from terrestrial ecosystems as food and wood in the 1950s, a flow of biomass that amounted to only 3% of their estimate of total global terrestrial NPP (54 Pg C/yr). This finding (Table 1) hardly raised concerns, but this changed rapidly with the publication of the famous study by Vitousek and colleagues that reported the following result: “We estimate that organic material equivalent to about 40% of the present net primary production in terrestrial ecosystems is being co-opted by human beings each year. People use this material directly or indirectly, it flows to different consumers and decomposers than it otherwise would, or it is lost because of human-caused changes in land use. People and the associated organisms use this organic material largely, but not entirely, at human direction, and the vast majority of other species must subsist on the remainder.” (Vitousek et al., 1986). Wright’s study was a recalculation of the study by Vitousek and colleagues that used more recent data sources and a different definition (see above); differences in definitions explain a much larger proportion of the differences in the result than the use of more recent data.

A more recent probabilistic study by Rojstaczer et al. that adopted Vitousek et al.’s intermediate definition and was based on Monte-Carlo techniques reported an alarmingly large uncertainty of global HANPP, a conclusion that was criticized by other authors (e.g. Field, 2001, Haberl et al., 2002). Using again another definition (outlined above), Imhoff and others arrived at an estimate of global human consumption of NPP of 14.7 Pg C/yr or 20% of terrestrial NPP. A recent study of the authors based on extensive use of spatially explicit (gridded) data reported a global HANPP value of 15.6 Pg C/yr or 24% of total terrestrial NPP. These are the only available data available so far on the global level that are (1) compatible with the HANPP definition outlined in Figure 1, (2) based on country-level data on land use, livestock grazing, forestry, urban areas, and so on, (3) include biomass consumed in human-induced fires and (4) are available in a 5min (10×10 km) geographic grid. For the aboveground compartment, this study reported a considerably higher HANPP of 29%. A recalculation of HANPP according to the definition used by Vitousek et al., but using the far more detailed database available for that latter study, confirmed that differences resulting from the use of different definitions were by far larger than differences resulting from uncertainties in the data.

The current “best guess” of NPP0 is 66 Pg C/yr and that of NPPact 59 Pg C/yr (Haberl et al. 2007

It is interesting to take a closer look at the various components of global HANPP, and in particular on the global human use of harvested biomass (for more details see Krausmann et al.). Table 2 presents an in-depth overview of the components of global HANPP and of global human-induced biomass flows. These data suggest that land conversion – i.e., past and present land use – lowers NPP by almost 9.6%, i.e. over two thirds of the amount of biomass actually harvested or destroyed during harvest (NPPh). A considerable amount of the biomass harvested flows back to ecosystems, for example as dung excreted by grazing animals, roots of harvested crops or trees remaining in the soil or unused agricultural residues.

Table 2 also suggests that biomass use is associated with considerable “upstream requirements”: The amount of biomass that actually enters socioeconomic processing (6.07 Pg C/yr) and is then further processed to derive biomass-based products such as food, feed, fiber or energy is just a bit over one third (39%) of global HANPP. In fact, figures presented in Krausmann et al. even suggest that, in the global average, the final consumption of one ton of biomass requires the harvest of 3.6 tons of primary biomass and is associated with a ?NPPLC of 2.4 tons. Taken together, this implies that – in the global average of all regions and biomass-based products, one ton of biomass use results in 6 tons of HANPP, measured as dry matter biomass.

Determination of ocean primary productivity using support vector machines
Authors: S. Tang ab; C. Chen a; H. Zhan a; T. Zhang a
Affiliations: a LED, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
b Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

DOI: 10.1080/01431160802175355
Publication Frequency: 24 issues per year
Published in: International Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume 29, Issue 21 November 2008 , pages 6227 – 6236
Subjects: Aerial Photography – Geography (See also Remote Sensing); Environmental Sciences; Remote Sensing;
Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
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Abstract
A major task of ocean colour observations is to determine the distribution of phytoplankton primary production. At present, the global coverage of the sea surface chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperature, photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) can nominally be achieved every 1 to 2 days with standard algorithms from satellite data. From these standard products, a variety of bio-optical algorithms has been developed to estimate ocean primary productivity. In this communication, we have investigated the possibility of using a novel universal approximator-support vector machine (SVM) as the nonlinear transfer function between ocean primary productivity and the information that can be retrieved from satellite data, including chlorophyll concentration, PAR, maximum carbon fixation rate and day length, which is the same as the vertically generalized production model (VPGM). The VGPM dataset was used to evaluate the proposed approach. The primary production algorithm round robin 2 (PPARR2) dataset was used to further compare the precision between the VGPM and the SVM model. The results suggest that the SVM model is more accurate than the VGPM. Using the SVM model to calculate the global ocean primary productivity, the result is 45.5 Pg C yr-1, which is a little higher than the VGPM result. AAAA
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Quantifying and mapping the human appropriation of net primary production in earth’s terrestrial ecosystems
Helmut Haberl*,, K. Heinz Erb*, Fridolin Krausmann*, Veronika Gaube*, Alberte Bondeau, Christoph Plutzar, Simone Gingrich*, Wolfgang Lucht, and Marina Fischer-Kowalski*
+Author Affiliations

*Institute of Social Ecology, Klagenfurt University, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Vienna, Austria;
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, P.O. Box 601203, 14412 Potsdam, Germany; and
Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation and Analyses, Giessergasse 6/7, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Communicated by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, May 25, 2007 (received for review June 5, 2006)

Next Section Abstract
Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), the aggregate impact of land use on biomass available each year in ecosystems, is a prominent measure of the human domination of the biosphere. We present a comprehensive assessment of global HANPP based on vegetation modeling, agricultural and forestry statistics, and geographical information systems data on land use, land cover, and soil degradation that localizes human impact on ecosystems. We found an aggregate global HANPP value of 15.6 Pg C/yr or 23.8% of potential net primary productivity, of which 53% was contributed by harvest, 40% by land-use-induced productivity changes, and 7% by human-induced fires. This is a remarkable impact on the biosphere caused by just one species. We present maps quantifying human-induced changes in trophic energy flows in ecosystems that illustrate spatial patterns in the human domination of ecosystems, thus emphasizing land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use transforms earth’s terrestrial surface, resulting in changes in biogeochemical cycles and in the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being. The results suggest that large-scale schemes to substitute biomass for fossil fuels should be viewed cautiously because massive additional pressures on ecosystems might result from increased biomass harvest.

Biomass global environmental change human impact biosphere land use
Material flows resulting from human activities have become a major component of earth’s biogeochemical cycles (1). Human alterations of photosynthetic production in ecosystems and the harvest of products of photosynthesis, often referred to as “human appropriation of net primary production (NPP)” or HANPP, have received considerable attention (2-4). NPP is the net amount of carbon assimilated in a given period by vegetation. It determines the amount of energy available for transfer from plants to other levels in the trophic webs in ecosystems. HANPP not only reduces the amount of energy available to other species (2), it also influences biodiversity (5-8), water flows (9), carbon flows between vegetation and atmosphere (10, 11), energy flows within food webs (12), and the provision of ecosystem services (13, 14).

Previous studies of NPP harvested to satisfy human needs and wants or foregone because of human-induced changes in ecosystem productivity suggested a substantial human impact on the biosphere, thus raising global sustainability concerns (15, 16). Existing global HANPP studies do not make full use of the spatially explicit databases available (12), and their results are quite diverse (2, 5, 16, 17). The estimate presented here is based on the best available global databases and integrates them in a high-resolution geographical information systems (GIS) data set. These data, in combination with a dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM), are used to derive a comprehensive assessment of global HANPP. This study localizes human-induced changes in ecosystems in a grid with 5′ geographical resolution (10 10 km at the equator) for the year 2000.

HANPP results presented here are based on country-level Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics (161 countries covering 97.4% of global land) on area and biomass harvest on cropland and forests. FAO livestock statistics are used to derive a feed balance for each of these countries to calculate the amount of biomass grazed that is not reported in statistics. Potential NPP is calculated by using the Lund-Potsdam-Jena (LPJ) DGVM (18, 19), a well established biogeochemical process model of global vegetation. Actual NPP is calculated by using harvest indices to extrapolate NPP on cropland from harvest statistics, whereas LPJ is used in wilderness areas, forests, and grazing areas. On grazing areas, the effects of fertilization, irrigation, and soil degradation on NPP are explicitly included in the estimate and results are cross-checked against grazing demand. NPP consumed in human-induced fires is calculated in a detailed regional breakdown.

Results of HANPP calculations vitally depend on the definition used (2, 20, 21). We define HANPP as the combined effect of harvest and productivity changes induced by land use on the availability of NPP in ecosystems. That is, HANPP is calculated as the difference between the NPP of potential vegetation (NPP0), i.e., the plant cover that would prevail in the absence of human intervention and the fraction of NPP remaining in ecosystems after harvest (NPPt). NPPt is calculated by subtracting the amount of NPP harvested or destroyed during harvest (NPPh) from the NPP of currently prevailing vegetation (NPPact) (5, 6). HANPP, thus, is the sum of ?NPPLC and NPPh, where ?NPPLC denotes the impact on NPP of human-induced land conversions, such as land cover change, land use change, and soil degradation.

One major argument in favor of this HANPP definition is that changes in agricultural technology can result in considerable increases in NPPact over time (22, 23). Harvest increases need therefore not necessarily result in a reduction in NPPt. Thus, it is important to consider ?NPPLC so as not to neglect technological progress (24). Moreover, we prefer a not-too-inclusive definition of HANPP, in accordance with the fact that a considerable fraction of the NPP of grazing land and forest plantations actually remains in the ecosystem and supplies trophic energy to ecological food webs there. To explore the importance of issues of definition, we use our database to calculate HANPP according to the definition given by Vitousek et al. (2) and compare the results to those obtained with the definition used here.

Human activities have a substantial effect on global NPP and its pathways through ecological and social systems. Our calculations show (Table 1) that humans appropriated 15.6 Pg C/yr, which represents 23.8% of global terrestrial NPP0 in the year 2000. Because humans mostly use aboveground NPP, it is relevant from a socioeconomic perspective to consider this compartment. Here, we find an even stronger impact: aboveground HANPP amounted to 10.2 Pg C/yr or 28.8% of aboveground NPP0. Overall, biomass harvest contributed 53% to total HANPP, land-use-induced productivity changes contributed 40%, and human-induced fires contributed 7%. A considerable amount of biomass included in NPPh (16% of total HANPP or 3.7% of NPP0) immediately flows back to ecosystems as roots killed during harvest, crop and wood residues remaining on site, or as feces of grazing animals and is, thus, only available for detritivorous food chains. Human biomass harvest alone is 12% of total NPP0 and 20% of aboveground NPP0.

View this table:
In this window In a new window Table 1. Global carbon flows related to the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) around the year 2000

We find significant alterations in NPP resulting from human-induced land changes (?NPPLC). As shown in Table 1, land use has resulted in an aggregate reduction of global NPP by 9.6%, with large regional variations shown in Fig. 1 a. Land use does not necessarily reduce NPP. Irrigated land as well as intensively used agricultural areas can have a higher productivity than the potential vegetation. The spatial distribution of total HANPP is shown in Fig. 1 b as the percentage of NPP0 appropriated in each grid cell. Maps of NPP0, NPPact, NPPt, and HANPP in absolute units (g C/m^2/yr) are available as supporting information (SI) Figs. 2-5.

View larger version:
In this page In a new window
Download as PowerPoint Slide Fig. 1. Maps of the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), excluding human-induced fires. (a) Land-use-induced reductions in NPP as a percentage of NPP0. (b) Total HANPP as a percentage of NPP0. Blue (negative values) indicates increases of NPPact (a) or NPPt (b) over NPP0, green and yellow indicate low HANPP, and red to dark colors indicate medium to high HANPP.

The maps presented in Fig. 1 show where on earth, and how strongly, humans alter ecological energy flows, thus localizing the intensity of human domination of ecosystems. Cropland and infrastructure areas are used most intensively, resulting in global average HANPP values on these areas of 83% and 73% (Table 2). HANPP is much lower on grazing land (19%) and in forestry (7%). In the global average, areas currently under forestry are most productive, followed by areas used today as cropland and infrastructure. The potential productivity of grazing land is lower than that of cropland, reflecting the fact that fertile areas are used for cropping rather than for grazing, but its current productivity is slightly higher. This stems from a substantial reduction of productivity (?NPPLC) on croplands that can be explained on the one hand by the prevalence of low-yield agriculture in developing countries and on the other hand by the low belowground productivity of crops (25). Table 2 also reveals the low productivity of most of earth’s remaining wilderness areas.

View this table:
In this window In a new window Table 2. Breakdown of global HANPP (excluding human-induced fires) in the year 2000 to land-use classes

Harvest per unit area and year is by far largest on cropland (296 g C/m^2/yr), which helps to explain why cropping alone accounts for 50% of global HANPP (Table 2), despite its limited spatial extent (12% of earth’s terrestrial surface, excluding Antarctica and Greenland). In total, agriculture (cropping and grazing) is responsible for 78% of global HANPP, the remaining 22% being caused by forestry, infrastructure, and human-induced fires.

A regional breakdown of global HANPP (Table 3) reveals considerably different patterns in various world regions. Aggregate HANPP may be as low as 11-12% in Central Asia, the Russian Federation, and Oceania (including Australia), whereas land is used much more intensively in other regions. For example, Southern Asia has an overall HANPP value of 63%, and land-use intensity is also high in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (52%). Land-use-induced reductions in productivity (?NPPLC) vary from 5% in Eastern Asia to 27% in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

View this table:
In this window In a new window Table 3. Regional breakdown of global HANPP (excluding human-induced fires) in the year 2000

The results presented above demonstrate that a remarkable share of global NPP is used to satisfy the needs and wants of just one species on earth, thus indicating the extent of human use of earth’s resources. Our HANPP estimate of 15.6 Pg C/yr is slightly higher than the high estimate of Imhoff et al. (16) and substantially higher than their intermediate (11.5 Pg C/yr) and low (8.0 Pg C/yr) estimates. Our result is in line with that of Wright (5) and falls well within the range of results given by Vitousek et al. (2) according to their different definitions.

Because our results on biomass harvest (NPPh) involve the extensive use of international databases and cross-checks, we are confident that the global picture portrayed by these data is reliable and rather conservative. In particular, our result on global per capita biomass harvest is lower than that found in several studies of biomass consumption in agrarian and industrialized societies (26). Moreover, we assume a low figure for wood harvest (SI Table 5). Results on land-use-induced productivity changes (?NPPLC) may be less robust because of the limited availability of consistent data sources but are within the range of other estimates. Our ?NPPLC value is lower than the estimate of Vitousek et al. (2) but higher than that derived by DeFries et al. (10, 27). The latter study, however, might have overestimated the underground fraction of NPP in croplands, which is notably smaller than that of natural vegetation (25). Interestingly, our result for aboveground ?NPPLC of 5% is almost identical with the figure given by DeFries et al. (10) for total ?NPPLC.

The similarity of our results with those of other authors, however, is partly coincidental, because their definitions of HANPP differ substantially. To evaluate the importance of definitional issues (Table 4), we present a recalculation of HANPP according to the definitions used by Vitousek et al. (2) based on our spatially explicit database (column 2) and compare the result with their original data (column 1). The three approaches presented by Vitousek et al. depart from the definition we used in our assessment. In their “low estimate,” they included only biomass consumed by humans or livestock. Their “intermediate estimate” encompassed the total NPP of “human-dominated” ecosystems, and the “high estimate” additionally considered productivity losses compared with potential vegetation (i.e., ?NPPLC). Surprisingly, differences in aggregate results between our recalculation and Vitousek’s original data are relatively small, except for the “low estimate,” which is considerably lower than our recalculation. Here, Vitousek et al. used extrapolations of total food and feed use from per capita values for intake of humans and animals, whereas our estimate is based on agricultural statistics. Another part of the difference can be explained by the fact that the calculation made by Vitousek et al. referred to data for the late 1970s and early 1980s, whereas our database refers to the year 2000.

View this table:
In this window In a new window Table 4. Comparison of global HANPP according to Vitousek et al. with a recalculation of HANPP according to definitions provided by Vitousek et al. based on our database

Our recalculation gave lower results for appropriated amounts of biomass according to Vitousek’s “intermediate” and “high” definitions, but our results for NPP0 and NPPact were also lower, so that results for HANPP expressed as a percentage of NPP0 are almost identical. We conclude that differences between our results and those of Vitousek et al. largely stem from divergences in definitions. Similar considerations apply for other studies. For example, Imhoff et al. (16) used still another definition because neither land-use-induced productivity changes nor the NPP on human-controlled areas were assumed to be appropriated. Thus, the similarity of our results with those of Imhoff et al. is, to some extent, coincidental. We presume, therefore, that success in harmonizing HANPP definitions would largely eliminate the impression that HANPP calculations are extremely uncertain (17): outcome differences due to different definitions appear to be much larger than those that result from different calculation methods or data.

A large degree of variation exists in the geographical distribution of human use of the biosphere (Fig. 1). The spatial distribution of HANPP expressed as the percentage of NPP0 appropriated in each grid cell (Fig. 1 b) is a useful indicator of land-use intensity that can quantify and localize changes in ecosystem processes due to human activities. The map presented here differs from that presented by Imhoff et al. (16). Their map displays the amount of HANPP resulting from the consumption of humans living in each grid cell, thus attributing HANPP to the place of biomass consumption and not to the locality of appropriation. Our map, instead, localizes the appropriation of NPP and thus the intensity of human domination of ecosystems. Because species richness has been shown to depend on HANPP (5-8), the map presented in Fig. 1 b contains information crucial for the analysis of biodiversity loss.

Productivity losses compared with the potential vegetation (positive ?NPPLC values; see Fig. 1 a) indicate that humans fail to fully use the productive potential of a region. The ratio of harvest to total HANPP can therefore be seen as an indicator of area efficiency: if ?NPPLC were zero, no productivity would be lost and HANPP would only result from harvest. The regional breakdown presented in Table 3 (for definition of regions, see SI Table 6) supports the view that the marked regional patterns of HANPP result from both variations in natural productivity and predominant land-use systems. For example, in Western Europe, the high total HANPP of 40% coincides with only a small ?NPPLC because of its high-yielding, intensive agricultural systems. By contrast, in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, with similar ecological conditions, land use has caused a large ?NPPLC and harvests are low. In Central Asia and the Russian Federation, most HANPP is actually due to a reduction in productivity; the situation is similar in sub-Saharan Africa. The situation in Eastern Asia (including China, Japan, and Korea), in contrast, is characterized by negligible ?NPPLC but large total HANPP. These findings suggest that, on a global scale, there may be a considerable potential to raise agricultural output without necessarily increasing HANPP, because the industrialized countries were actually able to achieve through agricultural intensification in the last 100-200 years (22).

Our findings emphasize land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use not only transforms earth’s terrestrial surface (28, 29) but also results in changes in biogeochemical cycles (1) and in a deterioration of the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being (14). Because human population numbers (30) and per capita consumption of food (31), fibers, shelter, and maybe also biomass-derived energy (32) are bound to increase over the next decades, cropland areas and the intensity of land use should be expected to rise as well (29, 33). This need not equally raise HANPP, because substantial increases in harvests can be achieved without raising HANPP through intensification (22). Agricultural intensification, however, often incurs other environmental costs, such as surging freshwater and fossil fuel inputs, soil degradation, nitrogen leaching, and pesticide use (29, 33, 34). Some scenarios, nevertheless, predict that cropland area will continue to grow in the next decades to satisfy the needs and wants of a growing world population (33), implying increasing HANPP.

In the light of these results, measures to promote the use of biomass for energy provision as an option to reduce fossil-fuel-related carbon emissions (32, 35) need to be considered carefully. According to our results, humans today already harvest over 8 Pg C/yr. This biomass amounts to an approximate gross calorific value of 300 exajoules (EJ) per year, of which some 35-55 EJ/yr are used for the provision of energy services (35). Prominent studies suggest that the use of biomass for energy generation could grow to 200-300 EJ/yr in the next decades (32, 35). The additional harvest of 4-7 Pg C/yr needed to achieve this level of bioenergy use would almost double the present biomass harvest and generate substantial additional pressure on ecosystems. Examples like this demonstrate the complexity of forging strategies of sustainable development and the need for sustainability science (36) to be based on sound empirical analyses of earth’s socioecological metabolism.

We calculated HANPP as the difference between NPP0 and NPPt, where NPPt was calculated by subtracting NPPh from NPPact (5, 6); that is, our HANPP calculation requires assessments of three parameters: NPP0, NPPact, and NPPh. To derive NPP0, we used the LPJ DGVM (19) with an improved representation of hydrology (18), on the basis of atmospheric CO2 concentration, gridded data on historical monthly climate, and a soil-type classification at 0.5 spatial resolution as input data (19). After a 900-yr run of spinup to reach equilibrium, repeatedly using the environmental data of the first 30 yr of the 20th century, LPJ was then run for the period 1901-2002. For the HANPP calculation, the 5-yr average of the results from 1998 to 2002 was used and resampled to a resolution of 5 arc min. Aboveground and belowground compartments were separated by using factors dependent on plant functional types and biomes (25). The map of NPP0 is presented in SI Fig. 2.

For the quantification of NPPact and NPPh, we combined statistical data (37) on livestock, agricultural yields, and wood harvest at the country level with spatially explicit data on land use in grid-based geographical information systems. A global 5-arc min (10 10 km) land-use data set that distinguishes five land-use classes (infrastructure/urban, cropland, grazing land, forestry, and wilderness) was derived from recalculations and intersections of the Global Land Cover (GLC) 2000 data (www-gvm.jrc.it/glc2000), a cropland map (38), Forest Resources Assessment/Temperate and Boreal Forest Resources Assessment (FRA/TBFRA) data on forest area (39, 40), and a wilderness map (28). For the 161 countries considered here (97.4% of global land area excluding Greenland and Antarctica), cropland area was consistent with cropland areas reported by the FAO, and forest area was consistent with data form the FRA and TBFRA, which is a precondition for deriving reliable country-level estimates of HANPP in accordance with statistical data on biomass harvest. Rural settlement area was calculated on the basis of model assumptions about per capita area demand, population density, and development status and calibrated against land-use statistics, whereas urban settlement area was taken from the GLC2000 map (www-gvm.jrc.it/glc2000). An existing wilderness map (28) and an NPP threshold of 20 g C/m^2 (41) derived from LPJ-DGVM runs were used to identify areas without land use. Grazing land was then calculated as the difference between the total area of each grid cell and the sum of the previous four classes, assuming that this type of land use occurs in almost all ecosystems (42-44). This data set is complemented by a map of four grazing land quality classes that was derived from land-cover information and LPJ runs. Highly productive ecosystems well suited for grazing (e.g., artificial grassland on fertile soils) were subsumed in class 1, and unproductive, barely suitable ecosystems, such as deserts, semideserts, and shrublands, are in class 4.

The NPP of the actual vegetation was calculated by combining statistical data with LPJ model runs. On cropland, NPPact is defined as the sum of harvested NPP, as reported in statistics and other fractions not accounted for in agricultural statistics, i.e., aboveground crop residues (e.g., straw, stover), NPP losses during the growth period, losses resulting from herbivory, the NPP of weeds, and belowground NPP. Appropriate factors were used to extrapolate flows not reported in agricultural statistics from harvest data (see SI Text and Table 7). The spatial allocation of NPPact on cropland to the 5′ cropland grid cells is based on a national productivity index calculated with LPJ, taking irrigation (www.fao.org/ag/agl/aglw/aquastat/irrigationmap/index.stm, 08/2005) into account (see SI Text). NPPact of grazing land was calculated on the basis of LPJ runs that were modified to consider the effects of ecosystem and soil degradation, irrigation, and fertilization. An appropriate factor was derived from measured site data to estimate the reduction of productivity resulting from the conversion of forests to artificial grasslands. Soil degradation is considered on the basis of Global Assessment of Human-Induced Soil Degradation (GLASOD) data (45). The supply of biomass available for grazing was cross-checked against the grazing demand of livestock (see SI Text). NPPact on infrastructure areas was modeled with LPJ based on assumptions about vegetation cover, productivity, and irrigation (see SI Text). NPPact in forests is assumed to be equal to NPP0 because reliable data are missing to take the effects of forest management on forest productivity into account. NPPact on unused areas is also assumed to be equal to NPP0.

We defined NPPh as all biomass harvested or destroyed during harvest within 1 yr. Calculations of NPPh were based on statistical data on wood and crop harvest (37, 40) and were calculated as 3- to 5-yr averages centered on the year 2000 to reduce the impact of stochastic events, such as unusually good or bad harvests. Biomass harvest on cropland and permanent cultures was derived from the FAO agricultural production database by using factors to extrapolate biomass fractions not reported in statistics discussed in the SI Text (see also SI Table 7). Harvest of forestry products was calculated by using the TBFRA2000 database (40) for 52 temperate and boreal countries and FAO statistics (37) for all other countries. Factors used to extrapolate biomass fractions not reported in these statistics (e.g., bark, roots, or leaves) were derived from the TBFRA2000 database and ref. 46 (see SI Text and Table 8). The amount of biomass consumed by ruminants on grazing land is assessed on the basis of country-level feed balances, which estimate the demand for grazing as the difference between supply of commercial feed and fodder crops (reported in FAO statistics) and the aggregate demand of livestock. Feed demand was calculated separately for 11 livestock species for which country-specific data on stock and production are provided by the FAO (see SI Text and Table 9). Grazed biomass was calculated as the difference between feed demand and the supply of market feed, nonmarket feed from cropland, and feed from crop residues. Grazed biomass is allocated to the grazing land layer on the basis of the grazing land quality map described above, assuming that all quality classes are grazed. Grazing intensity was assumed to be highest in the best-suited grazing areas and lowest in the least suitable ones (see SI Text). In contrast to cropland and forestry, no belowground NPPh was assumed to occur on grazing land because plant roots are mostly not killed during mowing or grazing (4).

Human-induced fires are not included in the spatially explicit assessment but are part of the aggregate estimate of global HANPP summarized in Table 1. They are assessed on the basis of data reported by the FAO and the Global Burned Area 2000 Project. On-site backflow to nature, i.e., unused crop residues, roots or other harvest losses on cropland and in forestry, and livestock feces dropped during grazing were calculated assuming appropriate factors (see SI Text).
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wikipedia primary production
Global
As primary production in the biosphere is an important part of the carbon cycle, estimating it at the global scale is important in Earth system science. However, quantifying primary production at this scale is difficult because of the range of habitats on Earth, and because of the impact of weather events (availability of sunlight, water) on its variability.

Using satellite-derived estimates of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for terrestrial habitats and sea-surface chlorophyll for the oceans, it is estimated that the total (photoautotrophic) primary production for the Earth was 104.9 Gt C yr-1[8]. Of this, 56.4 Gt C yr-1 (53.8%), was the product of terrestrial organisms, while the remaining 48.5 Gt C yr-1, was accounted for by oceanic production.

In areal terms, it was estimated that land production was approximately 426 g C m-2 yr-1 (excluding areas with permanent ice cover), while that for the oceans was 140 g C m-2 yr-1. Another significant difference between the land and the oceans lies in their standing stocks – while accounting for almost half of total production, oceanic autotrophs only account for about 0.2% of the total biomass.
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Joachim Schellnhuber
Communicated by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, May 25, 2007 (received for review June 5, 2006)Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), the aggregate impact of land use on biomass available each year in ecosystems, is a prominent measure of the human domination of the biosphere. We present a comprehensive assessment of global HANPP based on vegetation modeling, agricultural and forestry statistics, and geographical information systems data on land use, land cover, and soil degradation that localizes human impact on ecosystems. We found an aggregate global HANPP value of 15.6 Pg C/yr or 23.8% of potential net primary productivity, of which 53% was contributed by harvest, 40% by land-use-induced productivity changes, and 7% by human-induced fires. This is a remarkable impact on the biosphere caused by just one species. We present maps quantifying human-induced changes in trophic energy flows in ecosystems that illustrate spatial patterns in the human domination of ecosystems, thus emphasizing land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use transforms earth’s terrestrial surface, resulting in changes in biogeochemical cycles and in the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being. The results suggest that large-scale schemes to substitute biomass for fossil fuels should be viewed cautiously because massive additional pressures on ecosystems might result from increased biomass harvest. 10.1073/pnas.0704243104
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citeulike A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems
The management and conservation of the world’s oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly affected by multiple drivers. However, large areas of relatively little human impact remain, particularly near the poles. The analytical process and resulting maps provide flexible tools for regional and global efforts to allocate conservation resources; to implement ecosystem-based management; and to inform marine spatial planning, education, and basic research. 10.1126/science.1149345
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Ecological footprints and human appropriation of net primary production: a comparison
Helmut Haberl, , , a, Mathis Wackernagel, b, Fridolin Krausmanna, K.-H.Karl-Heinz Erba and Chad Monfredab

a Department of Social Ecology, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Austrian Universities, University of Vienna, Schottenfeldgasse 29, Vienna 1070, Austria

b Redefining Progress, 1904 Franklin Street, Oakland CA 94612, USA

Received 29 July 2003; Revised 17 October 2003; accepted 20 October 2003. Available online 7 February 2004.

Abstract
Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) and the ecological footprint (EF) are two aggregate measures to assess human societies’ draw on nature. Both relate socio-economic metabolism to land use and are designed to provide insights about the sustainability of society-nature interaction. Despite these similarities, there are differences between the two concepts. This paper compares the research questions driving each approach, examines how well they manage to answer their respective questions, and discusses the utility of the results for assessing regional or global sustainability. EF appraises the total bioproductive area needed to sustain a defined society’s activities, wherever these areas are located on Earth. In doing so, it accounts for three functions of ecosystems used by humans-resource supply, waste absorption, and space occupied for human infrastructure. EF is useful to identify how this demand is distributed between different groups of people. In contrast, HANPP identifies the intensity with which humans use these three functions within a defined land area. HANPP maps the intensity of societal use of ecosystems in a spatially explicit manner. In contrast to EF, HANPP does not calculate the aggregate demand of a society’s consumption patterns on the global biosphere. While EF evaluates the exclusive use of a society’s utilization of bioproductive area, HANPP maps the intensity of this use (‘human domination’) in specific regions.

Author Keywords: Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP); Ecological footprint (EF); Sustainability; Socio-economic metabolism; Land use
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Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean
Table 1.
Percent decline (biomass, catch, percent cover) for fauna and flora from various marine environments

Taxon Starting date Location % loss Ref.
Estuaries and coastal seas

Large whales Pristine Global 85% 23
Small whales Pristine Global 59% 23
Pinnipeds and otters Pristine Global 55% 23

Sirenia Pristine Global 90% 23
Raptors Pristine Global 79% 23
Seabirds Pristine Global 57% 23
Shorebirds Pristine Global 61% 23
Waterfowl/waders Pristine Global 58% 23

Sea turtles Pristine Global 87% 23
Diadromous fish Pristine Global 81% 23
Groundfish Pristine Global 62% 23
Large pelagics Pristine Global 74% 23
Small pelagics Pristine Global 45% 23
Oysters Pristine Global 91% 23
Mussels Pristine Global 47% 23
Crustaceans Pristine Global 39% 23
Other invertebrates Pristine Global 49% 23
Seagrass Pristine Global 65% 23
SAV* Pristine Global 48% 23
Wetlands Pristine Global 67% 23
Large carnivores Pristine Global 77% 23

Small carnivores Pristine Global 60% 23
Large herbivores Pristine Global 63% 23
Small herbivores Pristine Global 54% 23
Suspension feeders Pristine Global 68% 23
Shelf and pelagic fisheries
Large predatory fishes 1900 N. Atlantic 89% 3

Atlantic cod 1852 Scotian shelf 96% 24
Fish 4-16 kg Pristine North Sea 97% 39
Fish 16-66 kg Pristine North Sea 99% 39
Large predatory fish 1950s Global 90% 4
Large pelagic predators 1950s Tropical Pacific 90% 47

Fishery biomass 1959 Bohai Sea 95% 38
Coastal and pelagic sharks
Hammerheads 1986 N.W. Atlantic 89% 31

Scalloped hammerhead 1972 North Carolina 98% 30

White 1986 N.W. Atlantic 79% 31
Tiger 1986 N.W. Atlantic 65% 31
Tiger 1973 North Carolina 97% 30
Carcharhinus spp. 1986 N.W. Atlantic 61% 31

Thresher 1986 N.W. Atlantic 80% 31
Blue 1986 N.W. Atlantic 60% 31
Mako 1986 N.W. Atlantic 70% 31
Mako 1950s Gulf of Mexico 45% 32
Oceanic whitetip 1950s Gulf of Mexico 99% 32

Silky 1950s Gulf of Mexico 91% 32
Dusky 1950s Gulf of Mexico 79% 32
Dusky 1972 North Carolina 99% 30
Blacktip shark 1972 North Carolina 93% 30

Bull shark 1973 North Carolina 99% 30
Sandbar shark 1976 North Carolina 87% 30
Coral reefs
Live coral cover 1977 Caribbean 80% 59

Live coral cover 1977 Caribbean 93% 60
Live coral cover 1980-1982 Indo-West Pacific 46% 64

Commercial sponges 1924 Florida 89% 79
Diadema antillarum 1977 Caribbean 92% 80
Reef fish density 1977 Caribbean 90% 60
Green turtle 1700s Caribbean >99% 82
Hawksbill turtle 1700s Caribbean >99% 82
Goliath grouper 1956 Florida Keys 96% 71
Large carnivores Pristine Global 85% 8, 69
Small carnivores Pristine Global 61% 8, 69
Large herbivores Pristine Global 87% 8, 69
Small herbivores Pristine Global 66% 8, 69
Corals Pristine Global 61% 8, 69
Suspension feeders Pristine Global 49% 8, 69

Seagrasses Pristine Global 50% 8, 69
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The assessments of more than 240 contributors from 98 countries in this Status of Coral Reefs ?| Estimates in this report are that 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery; ?| Approximately 40% of the 16% of the world’s reefs that were seriously damaged in 1998 are either recovering well or have recovered; ?| The report predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures; and a further 26% are under a longer term threat of ?| Coral reefs around the world continue to decline from increasing human pressures; poor land management practices are releasing more sediment, nutrients and other ?| Over-?shing and particularly ?shing with destructive methods are: threatening the normal functioning of coral reef ecosystems; reducing populations of key reef organisms; lowering coral reef productivity; and, along with pollution, shift the advantage towards macro-algae by removing grazing pressure. These algae smother ?| Pressures on reefs from coral predators such as the crown-of-thorns star?sh (COTS) and coral disease have not increased recently (sometimes because corals have declined); but severe problems remain on some reefs. There is evidence that these are exacerbated by human pressures, either by removing the predators of COTS and/ or increasing water temperatures that stress corals, making them more susceptible ?| Analyses of coral reefs in the wider Caribbean region con?rm major reef declines and they do not resemble the reefs of 30 years ago. Coral cover on many Caribbean reefs has declined by up to 80%; however there are some encouraging signs of recovery; 8 ?| There are few encouraging signs for reefs in the high biodiversity areas of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, where human pressures continue to increase on coral reef; whereas reefs in the Paci?c and around Australia remain quite healthy. GLOBAL THREATS TO CORAL REEFS ?| Many coral reefs continue to recover after the 1998 El Nio/La Nia global coral bleaching event, with stronger recovery in well-managed and remote reefs; however, the recovery is not uniform and many reefs virtually destroyed in 1998 show minimal signs of recovery. This recovery could be reversed if the predicted increases in ocean temperatures occur as a result of increasing global climate change; ?| There has been no recurrence of the major global-scale climate change pressures of 1998; although there have been some more localised bleaching events in 2000 and 2003 causing damage to reefs; ?| The coral bleaching in 1998 was a 1 in a 1000-year event in many regions with no past history of such damage in of?cial government records or in the memories of traditional cultures of the affected coral reef countries. Also very old corals around 1000 years old died during 1998. Increasing sea surface temperatures and CO2 concentrations provide clear evidence of global climate change in the tropics, and current predictions are that the extreme events of 1998 will become more common in the next 50 years, i.e. massive global bleaching mortality will not be a 1/1000 year event in the future, but a regular event; ?| Coral disease and major coral predators like the crown-of-thorns star?sh continue to threaten reefs and evidence points to human disturbance as a contributing and catalytic factor behind these increases. CORAL REEF MANAGEMENT, AWARENESS RAISING AND POLITICAL WILL ?| There was a major advance in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef with increases in the amount of no-take areas from 5% to 33%, following a careful analysis using the best available science and extensive consultation with major stakeholders; ?| The World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 called for the establishment of networks of larger marine protected areas (MPAs) and a major international effort to reduce losses in biodiversity, including the biodiversity on tropical and cold-water coral reefs; ?| Many coral reef countries lack the resources of trained personnel, equipment and ?nances to effectively conserve coral reefs, establish MPAs and enforce regulations; ?| This lack of resources is often exacerbated by a poor awareness of the problems facing coral reefs and their signi?cance in local economies, and inadequate political will to tackle dif?cult environmental problems; ?| Major international NGOs are combining their expertise and resources to establish networks of MPAs and improve management capacity. A major focus is on the high biodiversity region of Southeast Asia and the Western Paci?c; ?| Some of these NGOs have developed rapid assessment methods to select sites for urgent protection and also designed tools to assist resource managers protect reefs from global change stresses;
http://www.reefbase.org/resource_center/ publication/main.aspx?refid=23038
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Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity
Michael J. Behrenfeld1, Robert T. O’Malley1, David A. Siegel3, Charles R. McClain4, Jorge L. Sarmiento5, Gene C. Feldman4, Allen J. Milligan1, Paul G. Falkowski6, Ricardo M. Letelier2 & Emmanuel S. Boss7

Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, and,
College of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
Institute for Computational Earth System Science and Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California 93106-3060, USA
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, PO Box CN710, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Program, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University 71 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA
School of Marine Sciences, 209 Libby Hall, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5741, USA
Correspondence to: Michael J. Behrenfeld1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to M.J.B. (Email: mjb@science.oregonstate.edu).

Abstract: Contributing roughly half of the biosphere’s net primary production (NPP)1, 2, photosynthesis by oceanic phytoplankton is a vital link in the cycling of carbon between living and inorganic stocks. Each day, more than a !!!!!!!! hundred million tons of carbon in the form of CO2 are fixed into organic material by these ubiquitous, microscopic plants of the upper ocean, and each day a similar amount of organic carbon is transferred into marine ecosystems by sinking and grazing.!!!!!!!!! The distribution of phytoplankton biomass and NPP is defined by the availability of light and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate, iron). These growth-limiting factors are in turn regulated by physical processes of ocean circulation, mixed-layer dynamics, upwelling, atmospheric dust deposition, and the solar cycle. Satellite measurements of ocean colour provide a means of quantifying ocean productivity on a global scale and linking its variability to environmental factors. Here we describe global ocean NPP changes detected from space over the past decade. The period is dominated by an initial increase in NPP of 1,930 teragrams of carbon a year (Tg C yr-1), followed by a prolonged decrease averaging 190 Tg C yr-1. These trends are driven by changes occurring in the expansive stratified low-latitude oceans and are tightly coupled to coincident climate variability. This link between the physical environment and ocean biology functions through changes in upper-ocean temperature and stratification, which influence the availability of nutrients for phytoplankton growth. The observed reductions in ocean productivity during the recent post-1999 warming period provide insight on how future climate change can alter marine food webs.
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http://www.answers.com/topic/ primary-production
As primary production in the biosphere is an important part of the carbon cycle, estimating it at the global scale is important in Earth system science. However, quantifying primary production at this scale is difficult because of the range of habitats on Earth, and because of the impact of weather events (availability of sunlight, water) on its variability.

Using satellite-derived estimates of the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) for terrestrial habitats and sea-surface chlorophyll for the oceans, it is estimated that the total (photoautotrophic) primary production for the Earth was 104.9 Gt C/yr [9]. Of this, 56.4 Gt C/yr (53.8%), was the product of terrestrial organisms, while the remaining 48.5 Gt C/yr, was accounted for by oceanic production.

In real terms, it was estimated that land production was approximately 426 g C/m^2/yr (excluding areas with permanent ice cover), while that for the oceans was 140 g C/m^2/yr. Another significant difference between the land and the oceans lies in their standing stocks – while accounting for almost half of total production, oceanic autotrophs only account for about 0.2% of the total biomass.

global CO2 output by all countries 27,245,000 metric tonnes/ ~140,000 species extinctions per year = 193,000 kg per extinction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions
27,245,000 metric tonnes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Holocene_extinction_event ~140,000 species extinctions

1 extinction for appproximately 50 average cars driving for a year

global CO2 output by all countries 27,245,000 metric tonnes/

The total world ecological footprint is 2.7 global hectares per capita and the ecological reserve, or biocapacity – the amount of land availible for production, is in deficit at -0.6 global hectares per capita ^ “Data Sources”. Global Footprint Network (2008-10-29). Retrieved on 2008-10-31. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/
en/index.php/GFN/page/data_sources/

When comparison shopping for groceries, you may soon have something to think about other than price and calories: carbon emissions.

The UK-based grocery chain Tesco announced last week that it will be testing out “carbon footprint” labels for 20 of its products, from potatoes to orange-juice to lightbulbs, that will display the amount of greenhouse gases produced over the the items lifecycle.

Tesco, the world’s fourth-largest retailer (which runs shops called Fresh & Easy in the Western US ), is working with The Carbon Trust, a company funded by the British government that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Labels carry with them an endorsement from the Carbon Trust and a promise to reduce carbon emissions of that product within two years.

“We’re delighted to be taking this major step with the Carbon Trust,” said Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy in a press release. “We want to give our customers the power to make informed green choices for their weekly shop, and enlist their help in working towards a revolution in green consumption. We encourage all of our suppliers and competitors to support the Carbon Trust in this collaboration.”

According to Reuters, Tesco has not yet announced plans for carbon labels on all of the products it sells, which number in the tens of thousands, partly because of the difficulty of assessing an item’s carbon footprint.

“Let’s see what the response to this is and in the meantime we’ll measure the emissions of more products,” said David North, Tesco’s community and government director.

“This is a pilot, it has to be a pilot because we have to be sure it works. There isn’t consensus about every piece of data and you wouldn’t expect there to be.”

Coming up with an exact number to place on a carbon label can be tricky, as it must calculate the emissions caused by producing the good and transporting it to the store’s shelf, as well as the emissions caused by the customer’s use and disposal of the item. In February, The New Yorker’s Michael Specter looked at Tesco’s plans and described the calculations as “dazzlingly complex.”

Should the carbon label on a jar of peanut butter include the emissions caused by the fertilizer, calcium, and potassium applied to the original crop of peanuts? What about the energy used to boil the peanuts once they have been harvested, or to mold the jar and print the labels? Seen this way, carbon costs multiply rapidly.

Despite the complexity, Tesco and the Carbon Trust have managed to come up with some precise numbers. For instance, the label on a liter of Tesco orange juice from concentrate has a footprint 260 grams per 250 milliliter serving. That works out to about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide for a quarter gallon. By comparison, the same amount of Tesco “100% Pure Squeezed” orange juice has a footprint of about 3.2 pounds.

Another example: A 100-watt Tesco incandescent bulb produces about 120 pounds of CO2 per thousand hours of use. A 20-watt CFL, which throws out about the same amount of light, produces 26 pounds,

To put things in perspective, burning through a gallon of gasoline produces about 20 pounds of CO2. The average Briton emits about 11 tons of CO2 annually; the average American emits twice that.
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Our current global situation: Since the mid 1980s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year.

It now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year.

We maintain this overshoot by liquidating the Earth’s resources. Overshoot is a vastly underestimated threat to human well-being and the health of the planet, and one that is not adequately ad
dressed.

By measuring the Footprint of a population-an individual, city, business, nation, or all of humanity-we can assess our pressure on the planet, which helps us manage our ecological assets more wisely and take personal and collective action in support of a world where humanity lives within the Earth’s bounds.

Conceived in 1990 by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia, the Ecological Footprint is now in wide use by scientists, businesses, governments, agencies, individuals, and institutions working to monitor ecological resource use and advance sustainable development.
http://ecofoot.org/ Global Footprint Network
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